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The Warsaw Voice » Business » May 10, 2013
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Further foreign energy companies pull out of Polish shale gas venture
May 10, 2013   
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Further foreign energy companies pull out of Polish shale gas venture
Talisman Energy Inc. of Canada and US energy company Marathon Oil said they were of pulling out of exploration for shale gas in Poland which was considered to have potentially one of the largest deposits of shale gas in Europe.

The companies said they were withdrawing after "unsuccessful attempts to find commercial levels of hydrocarbons". Talisman said it will sell its Polish assets to the Irish group, San Leon Energy. Marathon is to wrap up its operation in 2014.

The decision represents a major blow to Poland as it had hoped the shale gas deposits would replace imports from Russia. It follows the US giant ExxonMobil's decision to quit last June after disappointing drilling results.

Of the world's major energy companies, Chevron of the US and Italy's ENI are still active in Poland's shale gas sector.

The retreat of three major international oil in less than a year suggests Poland was too optimistic about the value of its deposits, or at least the speed with which it can retrieve them.

More than 100 shale gas exploration licences have been issued by the government in Warsaw. So far, only 43 wells have been drilled, while hundreds of them will be needed to accurately assess the country’s reserves potential. But few expect any to start producing gas before 2015 at the earliest.

Difficult permitting terms and tax policies in Poland were contributing factors in the fewer exploration wells completed last year.

Excitement over the Polish shale gas exploration potential reached its peak in 2011 on the back of a report by the US Energy Information Administration which estimated reserves at 5.3 trillion cubic metres, enough to cover domestic demand for 300 years.

But estimated reserves were slashed by almost 90% in a government report published last year -- to a figure that would still be enough to supply Poland with gas for decades rather than centuries.
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